This is how Germany gets to the round of 16
Et is the day of the decision for the German national team – and even before the game against Costa Rica this Thursday (8 p.m. in FAZ live ticker for the World CupARD, MagentaTV) one thing is certain: Unlike Spain, Japan and Costa Rica, Germany can only, in the best-case scenario, move into the round of 16 of this World Cup in Qatar as second in Group E.
A prerequisite for this is a victory for the German national team over Costa Rica, provided that Spain are against Japan wins. If these two sides draw, Germany will need to win by at least two goals to advance to the knockout rounds.
However, if Spain loses, Germany will have to make up for the goal difference, which is eight goals worse, in a direct comparison. In other words, even a 6-0 win over Costa Rica might not be enough if Japan beat Spain by a goal. national coach Hansi Flick says: “It would be very presumptuous and very disrespectful to Costa Rica if we assume that we will score eight goals.”
So much for the theory – but there is a big question mark. The “Marca” already headlined on Monday: “The danger for Spain to be first in the group.” Because the tasks in the further course of the tournament would then become much more difficult. In the round of 16, the team could be coached Luis Enrique Croatia or Belgium and later in the quarter-finals against tournament co-favorites Brazil. The Group E runners-up are likely to face Morocco in the round of 16 and Serbia, Switzerland or Portugal in the quarter-finals. A tempting prospect?
Even Enrique admitted on Wednesday during the press conference ahead of the final game against Japan that he was considering the scenario of only finishing second in the table. But this scenario would be one without a double bottom. “If you speculate for 95 minutes and then Costa Rica and Japan score five seconds before the end, you’re out. We’re here to play seven games,” said the fifty-two-year-old. Should Spain and Germany lose their games, Costa Rica will be the laughing third party and move into the round of 16 in second place – behind Japan. Impossible? “Costa Rica can win against Germany,” said Enrique.